Employers Can Prevent Loss of Lives and Dollars

February 9, 2017 Corporate Wellness Magazine

The start of a new year comes with many personal health aspirations. It is also a good time for businesses to think afresh about the importance of health within the workplace, as well as how our actions and products impact the health of the communities we live in or the consumers we serve. All of which ultimately impacts the health of our country.

Our preferred measure to gauge the health of our country and how we compare to other countries is Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs). It is used by the Institute for Health Measurement and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington as the primary metric supporting the Global Burden of Disease[1] studies. It estimates the impact of disease by looking at both the years of life lost as a result of premature death, and the years lived in sub-optimal health, or disability, as a result of disease. Data released in October showed that for 2015 DALYs in the US amounted to 88.6 million (healthy years lost), up from 83.4 million in 2010. On a per capita basis, the US ranks 28th out of 35 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development nations[2].

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